Quality & Quantity 32: 275–296, 1998.
© 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Assessing the Cross-Sex Validity of the Goldthorpe
Class Schema Using Log-linear Models with Latent
& COLIN MILLS
Nufﬁeld College, Oxford;
Department of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political
Abstract. In this paper we use log-linear models with latent variables to estimate and compare
the structure of job characteristics and their relation to positions in the Goldthorpe class schema
for male and female employees. We proceed by estimating latent class models of job attributes and
then evaluate the degree of similarity in these models between men and women. Sex differences
in the patterns of association between the various latent types of job attribute and between those
attributes and the Goldthorpe class schema are then assessed. The structure of job attributes is found
to be generally similar for men and women; and the Goldthorpe schema is shown to be a similarly
effective predictor of these attributes for both sexes. The class structure of employment relations is
therefore argued to be equivalent across the sexes, so conﬁrming the generality of class relations as
conceptualised by Goldthorpe and his colleagues.
The Goldthorpe social class schema has been developed over a long period for use
in research on class structure and social mobility in Britain and cross-nationally
(see, in particular, Goldthorpe, 1980, 1987; Erikson and Goldthorpe, 1992). It is
now arguably the most commonly employed social class categorization in use
among European sociologists and has been increasingly adopted by American
researchers (see, for example, work reviewed in Manza et al., 1995). However,
although there have been comparisons of the schema’s merits with those of alter-
native measures of social class (i.e., Marsh, 1986; Marshall et al., 1988; Bartley et
al., 1996), it is only recently that research has been conducted into the schema’s
validity as an operationalization of the concept of class underlying its construction
(Evans, 1992, 1996).
This paper develops this validation programme by using latent variable analysis
to identify latent typologies of the job characteristics most relevant for assessing
the validity of the Goldthorpe schema, and then examining the relations between
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the meeting of Research Committee 28
(stratiﬁcation) of the International Sociological Association, Zurich, May 1995.